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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Immigration Rally in Los Angeles: The sleeper awakes

In a show of solidarity unseen since King's March on Washington in 1963, half a million people clad in white shirts and waving flags took to the streets of Los Angeles yesterday to voice their opposition to proposed legislation that would among other things make the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the United States into felons.



The huge crowd, winding serpentine through the streets of the city carrying signs denouncing HR 4437, the bill passed in the House of Representatives last December and coming up for Senate debate this week, was the largest of many that took to the streets throughout the country this past week. Last weekend 300,000 marched in a similar demonstration in Chicago.

With more marches and rallies planned in the coming weeks it's obvious that those most effected by the draconian new legislation are not about to take this matter laying down. Despite media efforts to downplay earlier demonstrations it's becoming more and more evident that the Mr.'s Sensenbrenner and Frist have disturbed a hornets nest in their attempts to garner favor with the far-right, anti-immigrant wing of their party.

If the events of the last week are any judge, they may regret that they ever attempted to create an electoral wedge issue out of immigratiom reform by forcing the debate to such an extreme. It seems they have opened a Pandora's box of pent up frustration and resentment from those on both sides of the issue, and in so doing they've awoken a great sleeping giant that might prove to be their undoing.


(more below the fold)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Immigration rights advocates more than 500,000 strong marched in downtown Los Angeles, demanding that Congress abandon attempts to make illegal immigration a felony and to build more walls along the border.

The massive demonstration, by far the biggest of several around the nation in recent days, came as President Bush prodded Republican congressional leaders to give some illegal immigrants a chance to work legally in the U.S. under certain conditions.

Wearing white shirts to symbolize peace, marchers chanted ``Mexico!'' ``USA!'' and ``Si se puede,'' an old Mexican-American civil rights shout that means ``Yes, we can.'' They waved the flags of the U.S., Mexico and other countries, and some wore them as capes.

Saturday's march was among the largest for any cause in recent U.S. history. Police came up with the crowd estimate using aerial photographs and other techniques, police Cmdr. Louis Gray Jr. said.

Other demonstrations drew 50,000 people in Denver and several thousand in Sacramento and Charlotte, N.C.

-snip-

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, require churches to check the legal status of people they help, and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border.

-snip-

The Senate is to begin debating the proposals on Tuesday.

President Bush on Saturday called for legislation that does not force America to choose between being a welcoming society and a lawful one.

``America is a nation of immigrants, and we're also a nation of laws,'' Bush said in his weekly radio address, discussing an issue that had driven a wedge into his own party.

Bush sides with business leaders who want legislation to let some of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants stay in the country and work for a set period of time. Others, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, say national security concerns should drive immigration reform.

-snip-

In Denver, police said more than 50,000 people gathered downtown at Civic Center Park next to the Capitol to urge the state Senate to reject a resolution supporting a ballot issue that would deny many government services to illegal immigrants in Colorado.

-snip-

Since Thursday tens of thousands of people have joined in rallies in cities including Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta, and staged school walkouts, marches and work stoppages.

The demonstrations are expected to culminate April 10 in a ``National Day of Action'' organized by labor, immigration, civil rights and religious groups.

AP

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I LIKED THE INFORMATION YOU POSTED, GOOD JOB.

Latino Pundit said...

Yeah, they are really alienating themselves. Blacks with Katrina, Gays, women...now Latinos.

bbtb said...

Can the fictional movie "A Day Without a Mexican" become reality?
I hope more sick outs are planned.

The extension of this could be the true downfall of the repukes this year!

This is one issue that could cause the gathering of masses for continued marches and protests on all the issues that most sane people identify with!

janinsanfran said...

I'll say it again. I LOVE that picture.

Paramendra Bhagat said...

Bill Frist's Ancestors Came From The Moon

cbl said...

What would it take for your site to have an 'en espanol' feature ?

Duke1676 said...

cbl,

We would love to have an "en espanol" feature...but it would take a group of volunteers willing to do the translations for those of us (me really) who are not fluent enough to write effectively in Spanish. Since this a 100% volunteer site, put together by a group of like minded bloggers, done in our spare time and not affiliated in any way with an organization or group it really comes down to finding people willing to help out.

But it is something we would love to work on.

theboz said...

Duke,

I'll check with my wife. I'm fluent enough in Spanish to read it but I'm not good enough to post it coherently. If nobody else wants to do it I will talk to her about it.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the goverment has failed to fulfil the needs of many residents here in the U.S. and has taken advantage of all immigrants living within this country. And looking back on all of their mistakes they are now scared that all the latinos will take back what is rightfully ours. I belive that if we are talking about felonys and crimes we should start by talking about all of the corruptions, mistakes, and stealing that they did. Because that is were everything starts at their greed.They dont have the right to say that we insult and then ask for a favor just because we are proud of who we are and our culture. Latinos are dying every day and families are being separated, but everyone desides to neglect all the trageties that we could have prevented because it hasnt happened to us yet but it is time to wake up and smell the unfairness. Its time to stand up and ask and take back our rights. 52% of the population here in the U.S. is latinos and people with out legal residence here so I believe I am right when I say that it is really Latinos who feed the rest of you.This is slavery under cover.